But, again, I quickly realized that there were channels promoting things like “how to get 10x on your investment” that were getting hundreds of thousands more views than mine, so I figured say, why am I doing this? So in 2019 I deleted all my social media and stayed away.
Last year I bought the domain name from Griftonomics. And as I was about to start recording the first episode, I was like, why? Why am I going back to this? So I’m off for another year, and part of me thought at the time that some of this stuff might implode, but it doesn’t. On the contrary, there are more scams than a year ago. And so, over the past few weeks, I’ve decided it’s time to get back to it.
In the grand scheme of scams, where do you think crypto falls?
When I started doing Griftonomics, I wanted the show to be mostly about things that weren’t crypto-related, like hustle culture, online gambling, carbon credits, things like that. But the interesting thing about crypto is that when you start scratching the surface of the things I just mentioned, in every topic you find a crypto angle.
There’s a way this parasitic thing has its claws in every type of scam out there. It is an enabling technology. Crypto acts as an enabler for many scam groups by providing an unregulated and harder to control system for scammers to perpetuate their scams. Wherever there is smoke, there is probably crypto.
So, if this is such a scam, why are so many people drawn to it?
Crypto has this narrative attached to it that exploits fears or situations that the average person finds themselves in, and scammers have used it to sell people the idea of crypto, that it is some kind of new advanced technology. And it puts people in this situation where they’re like ‘oh, there’s this crazy way of making lots of money, and it’s awesome technology that celebrities and billionaires think is good, so it must be awesome’ . And it’s the closest.
“When Matt Damon stands up at the Superbowl and tells you monkeys are going to be the future, then some people think ‘well, maybe I was wrong’.”
Dogecoin founder Jackson Palmer on crypto
Every two or three years there is a new story. In 2009, it was that Bitcoin was going to replace all those banks that just fucked you up. Then, a few years later, when it didn’t work out, the narrative was that it was just a store of value. Then it pivoted again to ICOs [Initial Coin Offerings]democratizing fundraising, and then recently we went through the Challenge [Decentralised Finance] narrativewhich was just a total sham.
Now we have NFT [Non-Fungible Tokens], which are merely the latest in a long line of shifting narratives, so the industry may attract a bunch of new suckers.
For my part, I am completely shocked that some expensive pictures of monkeys could actually be a scam.
[laughs]. That’s the thing – I think a lot of people suspend their disbelief when it comes to stuff like that.
If you went back five years and people told you that JPEGs of monkeys sold for a million dollars, people would laugh at you. But the problem is that it has been legitimized by its promoters who put money in the pockets of celebrities or politicians to legitimize it.
When Matt Damon stands up at the Superbowl and tells you monkeys are going to be the future, some people think “well, maybe I was wrong.”
How much do you think that kind of Elon Musk factor plays a role? When the world’s richest man talks about crypto on Twitter, does that legitimize the space more?
Elon had a big impact especially in the Dogecoin market and made people believe that is something I obviously disagree with. But it’s not just Elon, I think it’s also various big names like Marc Andreessen, Mark Cuban and several other big names in investing who are heavily on the crypto bandwagon and probably have as much, if not more, interest. influence than Elon Musk.
If you look at the people who were involved in Y Combinator or 500 Startups 10 years ago, I pretty much guarantee they’re all running a venture capital fund right now. And some of them are pumping millions, even billions of dollars into trying to legitimize this stuff.
In your opinion, is some of the Web3 space legit? Could any of them stick around and actually be useful?
Not really. I think it’s a hammer looking for a nail, and it doesn’t add much value to society in a meaningful way.
I’m a big fan of decentralization, I had a person on the podcast who was the creator of Mastodon, a decentralized social network much like Twitter. Does it need a blockchain? Does it need cryptocurrency to work? Absolutely not. And the same can be said of so many peer-to-peer protocols.
What crypto does is play on adoption incentives by making the product something people can speculate on, and that undermines a lot of its ability to serve many of these use cases. .
I think it’s very telling that the people who are apparently the most involved, pouring the most money and wielding the most power over cryptocurrency right now are the same people who destroyed the economy in 2008 , the same people who are billionaires in the real world .
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